Bayern Munich responds to collapse of its U.S. youth partner GPS

German record-champion Bayern Munich launched its foray into American youth soccer in 2014 by partnering with multi-state club Global Premier Soccer (GPS), which has folded amid  its parent company filing for involuntary bankruptcy and a federal investigation into its former president and CEO.

Bayern Munich released the following statement on Monday:

"Global Premier Soccer was announced as our first partner in North America when we opened our office in 2014, highlighting our commitment to youth soccer in this country. We were surprised to learn about GPS filing for bankruptcy and we are currently speaking with stakeholders to get further information.

"FC Bayern Munich remains committed to supporting the development of soccer in North America, investing in young talent and providing pathways to professional soccer."

Bayern Munich, which opened its New York office months before the GPS collaboration, also in 2018 partnered with FC Dallas, which led to Bayern's acquisition of the MLS club's Homegrown defender Chris Richards. Last Saturday, the 20-year-old Richards made his Bundesliga debut in a 3-1 win over Freiburg.

The partnership which GPS, which operated in more than 20 states, included GPS teams wearing Bayern jerseys, visits to the USA by Bayern coaches, and GPS player and coaches trips to Munich.

In 2014, Rudolf Vidal, CEO of Bayern Munich in the USA, said, “Our main objective is that we brand build and get in touch with our fan base. We want to build the brand, get in touch with the people who are interested in Bayern Munich and go into the youth soccer structure and try to help wherever we can."

Legacy Global Sports, which acquired 80 percent of GPS ownership in 2016 for $15.2 million, was accused in a civil lawsuit filed in February accused of not paying over $3.7 million as part of an adjusted purchase agreement, forcing LGS into Massachusetts Bankruptcy Court. Former president and CEO Joseph Bradley, who founded GPS in 2001 with his brother Peter Bradley, is the subject of a federal investigation centered on improper work visas used by the GPS's British coaches. That investigation led to a search and seizure warrant of GPS’s offices in Waltham, Massachusetts, in October 2019. In May, Gavin MacPhee, who had worked for GPS since 2007, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.

Foreign clubs' long history of partnering with U.S. youth clubs and hosting "academies" accelerated with the growth of soccer's popularity in the USA and the increased financial impact of overseas TV rights and worldwide replica jersey sales.

Bundesliga clubs were relatively late to the U.S. market. By 2008, British such as Liverpool, Everton, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Chelsea had launched U.S. programs.

2 comments about "Bayern Munich responds to collapse of its U.S. youth partner GPS".
  1. Wallace Wade, June 23, 2020 at 10:27 a.m.

    These "partnerships" with Clubs such as Bayern Munich are a marketing sham. All these players paid $ to Bayern in order to wear a replica jersey! The problem in this Country is there is no open development pyramid. Wouldn't it make more sense for American Youth Clubs to partner with local NISA, UPSL, GCPL teams?? Why put $ in foreign Super Club coffers that offer them nada? The Federation supports this con job. Support local soccer! 


  2. R2 Dad, June 24, 2020 at 12:59 a.m.

    If only we had a fixed pyramid that everyone understood, with teams only moving to different leagues based on excellence and performance instead of ownership moving teams to different cities because of petulance, greed & "grass-is-greener" business cases.

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